Foster mother denies alleged abuse Teen accuser is portrayed as a liar

January 06, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The 16-year-old who accused his foster mother of sexuall abusing him was portrayed yesterday as a scheming liar as the woman's trial continued in Carroll Circuit Court.

On the stand, the 31-year-old defendant denied all of her former foster son's allegations.

"Did you have sexual contact with him in any way whatsoever?" asked her attorney, J. Barry Hughes.

"No, sir, I did not," she replied.

Her testimony came during a day in which the prosecution rested its case and Mr. Hughes persuaded Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. to drop two of the eight charges.

The Westminster woman, whose name is being withheld to protect the privacy of her accuser, was arrested in March. The youth told a high school counselor in February that he had been sexually abused.

Westminster police Lt. Dean Brewer interviewed the woman several days later.

Afterward, police seized the woman's diary and a book of erotic art -- which depicts bestiality, oral sex and other sexual behavior -- that the woman gave the boy.

The taped interview was ruled inadmissible by Judge Beck last fall, and the diary was ruled out as evidence on Monday.

Several weeks after the investigation, the woman was charged with one count of child abuse, one count of perverted sexual practice and six counts of fourth-degree sex offense.

Two of the fourth-degree sex offense charges were dropped yesterday.

Witnesses for the defense -- including the woman's mother and one of the boy's former foster fathers -- told the nine-man, three-woman jury the boy often made up stories of abuse and frequently lied.

"I feel [the youth] is not an honest person," the defendant's mother said. "I would often catch him in a direct lie. He would tell me something and later I would find out it was not true."

Some of those instances, the mother said, included inflated tales of "heavy drug use," stories of criminal trials against him where he wasn't present, and an alleged instance where the boy stole money from her purse.

She also said the boy accused "his previous foster families of acts and charges that never came about."

That claim was supported in testimony by one of the boy's foster fathers yesterday and during Mr. Hughes' cross-examination of the boy during his testimony Monday.

While the defense was portraying the youth as manipulative, abusive and dishonest, Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III attacked the defendant's credibility.

As he questioned her about the boy's allegations, the jury was leafing through the erotic art book, a gift choice the woman said was a mistake.

"I guess I should have looked at the book more closely," she said.

During cross-examination, Mr. Walker asked the woman's mother about the closeness of her family.

"You would do anything to help your daughter at this point, wouldn't you?" he asked.

"Are you indicating perjury?"

"I didn't say the word," he answered.

"I wouldn't commit perjury, if that's what you're asking."

The boy, who was 15 when he lived with the defendant, took the stand again late yesterday as one of five rebuttal witnesses called by Mr. Walker.

During his testimony, he denied stealing money from the defendant's mother and denied allegations that he had punched the defendant's 10-year-old son in the stomach.

He also talked about the sexual encounters alleged to have happened between him and the defendant.

Mr. Walker asked him to comment on the defendant's claim that she believed they had a fairly normal "mother-son" relationship.

"A mother-son relationship?" the youth said. "Sometimes. But at other times, she would look at me as a boyfriend."

After the attorneys deliver closing arguments, the case is expected to be handed to the jury today.

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